Sunday 28 February 2010

Airport Reopens

Just read this report. from the Wall Street Journal. posted about 8PM GMT

SANTIAGO (Dow Jones)--The international airport in the Chilean capital, Santiago, reopened Sunday allowing a limited number flights as the damaged terminal struggles to recover from the effects of a powerful earthquake that struck early Saturday.

During a press conference, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said the airport has reopened to incoming international flights, and that flights of the national carrier, Lan Airlines (LFL, LAN.SN), will land Sunday.

The Chilean Aviation Authority said other airlines will land at airports in the north of the country, as well as Mendoza in Argentina on the border with Chile, and will be ferried by bus to Santiago, the president said.

The Santiago airport passenger terminal is damaged, so passengers will be received at a temporary terminal, she said.

The airport infrastructure, including runways and flight systems, weren't damaged by the earthquake.
Argentina's government-owned airline said it would send a special flight later Sunday afternoon to carry 160 people to Mendoza. Aerolineas Argentinas said in a statement it has contracted buses to take the people on to the Chilean capital.

-By Jeff Fick and George Seal, Dow Jones Newswires;

Ok, so that sounds promising, especially the part about the critical airport infrastructure being undamaged.  The not so good part is about some flights landing in the North of Chile (some at Antofagasta about 300km from San Pedro), or Argentina (much further away!), and people being bussed to Santiago.  If my flight were diverted to Antofagasta then it wouldn't be too terrible I guess.  200 miles is doable via a rental car or bus, but Argentina....that would be a bigger problem to overcome.

The 'current' LAN airlines revised schedule can be found here: LAN Airlines.

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